Australian customer expectations have never been higher. Facebook’s Zero Friction Future initiative examines how automotive brands can eliminate pain points to meet the needs of today’s connected car shopper, making it a seamless experience to discover, purchase and own vehicles.
The opportunity cost of friction – any inconvenience or delay in the shopping journey – was AUD$43.4 billion in 2018.1 Continual leaps in technology mean speed and convenience are no longer nice to haves for customers, but basic demands. In fact, an Accenture study in 2018 revealed that 79 percent of Australian automotive consumers surveyed say it’s important that buying a car is as easy and convenient as possible.2
Any business that wants to thrive into 2020 needs to create experiences that flow seamlessly and meet the demands of your customers. That’s why we’ve outlined some of the ways you can leverage the Facebook family of apps right now to make it easy to connect with your customers, let them discover your vehicles, make purchases, and engage with your business in the long term.
Help people find the right cars
With 65 percent of Australian automotive consumers surveyed indicating that they only have 1-2 brands in mind3 in the already compressed consumer journey, enable people to discover your brand earlier on in the places they’re already spending time.
Stories are where people discover and engage with content they care about, and this includes content from businesses. With over 1 billion stories shared globally every day, dealerships can utilise mobile-first creative and interactive elements, such as stickers and polls in stories, to captivate the on-the-go consumer.4 A collaboration between Mercedes-Benz Cars UK Ltd and Facebook Creative Shop resulted in a compelling campaign for Instagram Stories that yielded great results, including a 9-point lift in ad recall.
Watch, Facebook’s video platform, is also gaining momentum in Australia, with recent deals with major sporting codes like NRL, AFL, Cricket Australia and news programming from Australian broadcasters, helping to fuel a huge growth in content on the Watch platform, and bring in even more viewers.
Car maker, Holden, used In-stream video ads in Watch to help launch its Acadia model, tailoring its TV ads for the platform to make them more engaging. The brand wanted people to view the videos with sound enabled to hear the Flo Rida track, ‘My House’, they used for the campaign, so created a native ‘Sound On’ sticker. This resulted in a lift from 31 percent to 50 percent of video being watched with sound on and reached over 500,000 people during the campaign.5
Create seamless shopping experiences
A recent Boston Consulting Group analysis into the auto consumer journey revealed that irrelevant ads and content that does not include enough detail is a top cause of friction for today’s auto consumer.6 Facebook offers signals-based marketing solutions that can help automotive marketers better understand the ways in which people are interacting with their business. By adopting a signals-based approach, you can leverage machine learning to automatically deliver your advertising to people showing behavioural signals of being in-market for a car right now. This strategy instantly increases advertising relevance and improves performance.
With so much excitement around driving product discovery and purchase, it can be easy to let infrastructure take a back seat. Setting up a solid foundation with the Facebook pixel and offline events will enable the signals to help dealerships track conversions on their Facebook ads, optimise their ads for people most likely to convert, and generate audiences to better target their ads.
The same Boston Consulting Group analysis also highlighted that cars not being available for a test drive or physical experience is a major point of friction for consumers.7 To facilitate a more seamless experience, Lexus Santa Monica in the US leveraged automotive inventory ads to promote relevant vehicle inventory from their entire catalogue with unique creative, showcasing one or more vehicles, across any device. The dynamic ads helped the dealership generate 3.2 times more vehicle detail page views (compared to previous prospecting campaign with the same budget).8
Make purchase the beginning
While reducing friction can smooth the path-to-purchase and increase share of wallet, there is also an opportunity for businesses to drive long-term value through nurturing brand loyalists and creating just as powerful post-purchase or ‘ownership’ experiences.
Messaging is how people communicate with their friends and family, and now people desire the same ease and speed of communication with the businesses they love. Research shows that almost three-quarters of Australians (73 percent) have communicated with a business via direct messaging, and Facebook Messenger is the most popular service for customers looking to connect with businesses. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed say the number one benefit is the ability to message at any time, including outside trading hours.9
Integrating Messenger into a customer service strategy allows customers and prospects to communicate with your brand or dealership on their terms. Bots can be used to provide quick answers to common enquiries. And the conversation stays in Messenger, an easily accessible spot for questions and re-engagement, and opportunity to build long-term loyalty.
Removing friction within a business
Whilst friction exists in the end consumer experience, it is also equally prevalent within businesses. The best advocates for your brand should be your employees, so making them feel connected and empowered within your company has never been more important. By giving them the right tools to connect with each other and your customers you can eliminate many of those internal barriers and frustrations and facilitate better employee engagement and, ultimately, customer experiences.
Cinema chain Hoyts10 needed a way to connect their part-time and largely millennial workforce who were distributed at locations across the country, to head office and to each other. These front-line staff were the only people the tens of thousands of customers who go to the cinema everyday see as brand ambassadors, so it was imperative they felt part of the organisation.
Hoyts rolled out to their employees Workplace by Facebook, the simple-to-use and mobile-optimised interface giving their staff easy access to crucial information in an environment with which they are familiar, leading to increased collaboration across more than 50 sites and staff getting involved with ideas for promotional activity to help drive customer engagement.
In an age where customers are searching for speed, simplicity and instant gratification, there is a huge opportunity for dealerships to raise their game and drive differentiation through offering the best customer experiences.
Discover more resources from the Zero Friction Future series by Facebook and learn more about how your business can overcome friction by downloading the Automotive Guide at fb.me/zff-au.
(1) Boston Consulting Group Data Analysis, Mar 2018. Exchange rate used as $1 USD = $1.49 AUD from XE.com, Sep 2019
(2,3) “Auto Consumer Study” by Accenture (Facebook-commissioned online study of 1,001 respondents ages 18+, Australia, Nov 2018)
(4) Instagram Internal Data, Q3 2018
(5) Holden Case Study, May 2019
(6,7) “Auto Consumer Journey Analysis” by Boston Consulting Group (in partnership with and commissioned by Facebook IQ, markets include US, Germany, France and the UK), Aug 2019
(8) Lexus Santa Monica Case Study, Jan 2019
(9) “Messenger Study” by YouGov Galaxy (Facebook-commissioned study of 1080 respondents, ages 18+, Australia), May 2019
(10) Hoyts Case Study, accessed Oct 2019